Commit to high-level chemical protection with chemical resistant gloves from Cromwell. We stock a wide range of high-performance safety gloves to protect employees against exposure to hazardous chemicals and micro-organisms from market-leading suppliers, like Ansell®, Polyco®, Benchmark®, Ejendals® and Mapa Professional®.
Chemical resistant gloves are a category of PPE that protect the hands, wrists and (sometimes) forearms against exposure to harmful chemicals, including cleaning chemicals and solvents, oils, and other, more hazardous chemicals.
Chemicals can cause serious damage to the skin, ranging from extreme dryness to extreme burns. Using the correct PPE alongside other safety measures can reduce the risk of chemical burns and other occupational injuries associated with exposure to chemicals and micro-organisms.
Chemical resistant gloves are used widely in a range of industries, including professional cleaning, oil and gas industries, laboratories and more.
Chemical resistant gloves can be natural or synthetic; with materials offering different chemical permeation levels against a range of chemical types. There's plenty to choose from to suit each industry requirement.
• Butyl chemical resistant gloves - This synthetic rubber demonstrates low permeation to chemical gas and water vapour, and can frequently be found in the cleaning industry
• Natural rubber chemical protection gloves - This material offers excellent protection against cleaning solvents and other heavy-duty chemicals. Some natural rubber gloves are flock lined for repeated use, while others are single-use disposables
• Neoprene chemical protection gloves - Is suitable for use with some caustic liquids, including acids, gloves made from this synthetic rubber material offer good flexibility and tensile strength
• Nitrile chemical protection gloves - Gloves made from this synthetic rubber are used in a range of industries, including automotive and medical. It offers excellent protection again abrasion as well as petroleum-based chemicals and oils, including fats found in humans and animals
• PVC chemical protection gloves - Abbreviated from polyvinyl chloride, this thermoplastic polymer resists a wide range of chemicals, including oils, petroleum-based hydrocarbons, and some acids
• Viton® chemical protection gloves - The most expensive to manufacture in this list, Viton® was originally developed for the aerospace industry and delivers outstanding protection against aromatic solvents and hydrocarbons, like xylene and benzene. It also protects against chlorinated chemicals and is extremely flexible with a high resistance to heat
• Length - most gloves will cover the hands and wrists as standard, however, for chemical handling that involves submergence, extended gloves are available, with some extending past the elbow to the lower arm.
• Gauge - this measurement shows the thickness of a glove. For greater dexterity and fingertip sensitivity a thinner gauge is best. However, a thicker gauge measurement provides higher levels of chemical protection, albeit with a sacrifice in flexibility.
• Safety classification - always check the classification type on a glove to ensure you have the right protection for the task.
• Coating / lining - some chemical resistant gloves feature added coatings to enhance the breakthrough time of the chemicals handled. Similarly, some gloves feature a flock lining to absorb sweat to keep the operator comfortable during prolonged periods of wear.
• Chemicals - choose your chemical resistant gloves based on the compatibility of the material with the types of chemicals you'll be handling. Understanding chemicals will help you to make the best choice of glove.
We want to make your purchase decision easy, so we've outlined the standard associated with chemical resistant gloves to give you an idea of the testing they've undergone and the results of those tests.
What does standard EN ISO 374:2016 mean?
EN 374 outlines the testing requirements of gloves intended to protect against hazardous chemicals and the micro-organisms found in medical settings. It involves two tests for permeation and penetration of chemicals, water, and micro-organisms to both certify a glove's safety, but also assign a measurement of time of which the protection will last when submerged.
Let's break it down...
• EN - An abbreviation for European Norm which is translated from the German, eurpäische norm
• ISO - An abbreviation of the International Organization for Standardization, the independent European body who draw up and publish safety and quality standards
• 374 - This is the legislation number
• -2 - Penetration testing: tests the material including the seams and other minor imperfections for the ingress of water and micro-organisms
• -3 - Permeation testing: tests the material including the seams and other minor imperfections for the ingress of three different chemicals
• 2016 - This standard and all its parts was published in 2016 and will be replaced by ISO/CD 374
Do vinyl gloves protect against chemicals?
Vinyl gloves are essentially PVC gloves (discussed above). They're inexpensive and are often used as single-use gloves. However, they offer limited penetration and permeation times and aren't as strong as nitrile gloves. So, in short, yes, vinyl gloves do protect against some chemicals, but only for a very limited period. We advise that you check the certifications of all chemical protection gloves before using them.
Which chemical resistant gloves are the best?
There is no one-glove-fits-all answer to this, as all certified chemical resistant gloves have been manufactured for effectiveness against the ingress of chemicals, liquids, and micro-organisms. The difference between them is the capacity for resistance, i.e., the time it takes for said liquids, chemicals, and micro-organisms to penetrate or permeate the glove and expose the skin.
All gloves certified under EN ISO 374:2016 will provide a timeframe before penetration or permeation was achieved at the testing stage, and this will help you to choose which chemical resistance glove offers you the best protection.